What’s going on: questions, problems, suggestions, solutions.

How it works: This is a space for short items: an ideas exchange between the 20 U3As in South Australia. It is is designed to be regularly updated with new suggestions, problems, issues, bright ideas and questions: a forum for member organisations and individuals to share information and discuss.  Your contributions will make it work.

Send your contribution – comment, question, observation, report, suggestion to John Travers jtravers@gmail.com


Mar 29 Zoom discounts . Mar 25 South Coast and History Week Mar 14 National Online U3A – see ‘Projects’ Mar 12 Fees charged SA U3As Mar 7 U3A Website Workshops – online April Risk Management Seminar Mar 6 Creating a course from member interests Feb 29 Member Wizard U3A membership management software Feb 28 How Brisbane launched online courses

Zoom Discounts

There are potential discounts for Zoom licences via ConnectUp – an organisation which manages discounts for a large number of businesses. This service is used by U3As interstates. The discounts work via coupons which can be applied to a subscription to lower the cost. A benefit if this system is that the coupons can be distributed by an organisation to individual members who retain individual subscriptions – very simple administration. We will update this item when we get feedback from ConnectUp

South Coast and History Week

U3A South Coast has an impressive cooperation with the History Trust in their area. They are preparing a ‘Passport’ for members, primarily those belonging to its 3 History groups of events across southern Fleurieu Peninsula during South Australia’s History Festival month. U3A South Coast members can avail themselves of this program and it’ll be available to non – U3A South Coast members as well. The Passport will include event, address and date. The Goolwa Museum and History Centre is home to the Goolwa Branch of National Trust. It’s at 11 Porter St, Goolwa.
The National Trust has operated from that building for 52 years. Formerly it was a blacksmith’s shop,  built circa 1872. An Open Day is occurring on Sunday, May 12th. South Australia’s annual History Festival is happening from Wednesday, May 1 until Friday, May 31. This is coordinated by the History Trust of South Australia. Statewide events are advertised in a hard copy program and Online program. U3A South Coast has three History groups: a. Discovering History (Coordinator – Jeanette Clarke). b. Fleurieu Peninsula Local History group (Coordinator – Angela Bowman). c. History Research group (Coordinator – Maryanne McGill). Fleurieu Peninsula Local History group member, Derek Bowman is collating a “Passport” of History Festival events across Alexandrina Council, City of Victor Harbor Council and Yankalilla Council areas for U3A South Coast History group members to follow. The “Passport” will include Encounter Bay Family History Group, Gilbert’s Motor Museum, Goolwa Barrage, Goolwa History & Museum Centre, Little Scotland, Old Goolwa Cemetery, Port Elliot Historic Railway and Seaport Centre, Port Elliot War Memorial, Southern Fleurieu Historical Museum, St Andrew’s Uniting Church (Strathalbyn), Strathalbyn Heritage Museum, Victor Harbor Museum & Customs House and Yankalilla District Historical Trail. Additionally, U3A South Coast member, Andrew Jeffery has planned a self – drive tour of the historic Mt Barker Junction to Victor Harbor Railway, visiting current and former stations. Later in 2024, participants will be invited to join a Zoom meeting and share their History Festival experiences.

Fees charged SA U3As

An analysis of 15 U3A fees in SA shows that there is considerable variation in fees charged for membership, no doubt affected by whether there is a cost for rooms etc. About half offer a 50 % reduced fee for two members in a houshold, and most offer reduced fees if booking for half the year only. A number offer discounted fee for members of another SA U3A and one offers free membership for tutors who do not attend any classes .

U3A Website Workshops – online

Managing a website is regular problem for U3As. John Travers is planning to offer a continuing workshop online about the basics of managing a site using WordPress. Interested or curious – contact John at jtravers@gmail.com with your interest. Topics: security, design, layout

Risk Management Seminar coming soon

Risk management is assessing possible risks to an organisation and proactively taking steps to deal with these risks.

Creating a course from member interest.

Rather than waiting for a tutor to step forward, ask the members!

by Helen Elix President Murraylands & U3A SA Delegate  u3aml6@gmail.com M: 0410 510 280  https://www.u3amurraylands.net/ At U3A Murraylands for the past eight years, an effective strategy was introduced. It’s called an ‘Expression of Interest’, stimulating member feedback, and teasing out an unmet need, ironically through member initiative. The result is member driven. Members are always keen to explore what is listed in an ‘Expression of Interest’ within the program. This strategy also encourages other members to offer suggestions and feedback to grow our offerings. The ‘Expression of Interest’ strategy is two-fold, let me explain i.e., have we found a leader keen to deliver a new program, or has the suggestion come from a participant? One recent example was suggested by a new U3A member keen to play Canasta. U3A then market/promote Canasta within their program under the heading of ‘Expression of Interest’.  In this recent example we received responses from 19 members who were keen to participate. The next step is to connect with the 19 with a view to finding a leader and helper. We have also had examples of tutors or leaders stepping forward offering to share their knowledge, skills, expertise which was the case for our Apple iPhone/iPad class with 18 members now attending. In summary the ‘Expression of Interest’ can begin with a member offering to lead a class or an activity, or a participant suggesting a particular class or activity. The strategy is almost the same, however with the leader already being found we may offer the program upfront i.e., for enrolments.

Member Wizard U3A management solution. An alternative membership management system.

This perennial topic is being discused a great deal with the Member Wizard system being looked at by a number of U3As. This issue will feature in Discussion and Projects quite soon. Website: https://memberwizard.com.au/

How Brisbane Launched Online Courses

Brisbane switched to online during Covid and is still going strong

by John Travers, Statewide Coordinator jtravers@gmail.com
As the godfather of Statewide I have been somewhat perplexed by the limited take-up of Statewide online courses in SA, and I think there is a partial answer in what happened in Brisbane U3A during Covid. When every thing shut down in 2020 in Brisbane they said, “We’ll go online during Covid”, so they set about running tutorials for all the tutors in Zoom, organised licences for Zoom, and managed to have 135 online courses running during the shutdown, reduced from their live total of 200. This was a remarkable success in my view and it happened out of necessity, but the miracle ingredient was that they trained and supported tutors to make the transition. As a result a large proportion of members experienced online delivery and discovered a. it was not difficult to manage and b. is quite effective in providing good communication. Now, their live courses are back to normal and they have 35 online courses continuing – about 15% of their courses are online. Most want to have face to face classes, but a significant number of tutors and members appreciate the advantages of online. You can see for yourself, here: https://www.u3abrisbane.org.au/class-details Select Online and you will see the very wide range of online courses on offer. They are quite open to enrolments from outside Qld! Now I don’t think would be a good idea to organise another world wide pandemic in order to get people more engaged in online courses , but organising most members to engage in trial online communication would seem to be a good way to reduce anxiety and fear of the unfamiliar. I would appreciate your feeback. John Travers jtravers@gmail.com